So this week's Riva hero is another gorgeous one... the word 'honed' does it for me! ;) Here's Jake, brought to us by the lovely Leah Ashton!!!
Name: Jake Donner
Occupation: Reclusive billionaire software mogul
Vital Stats: 6’1, dark, close-cropped hair, ice blue eyes and a body honed from rock climbing throughout Sydney’s Blue Mountains
Celebrity Look-a-like: Doesn’t have one – he’s one of a kind :)
White Lie or Absolute Honesty: Honesty, all the way!
Order In or Dine Out: Order in.
Boxers or Briefs: Boxers.
Best known for: Sydney’s most intriguing billionaire, Jake’s couldn’t care less what people think of him. Spending most of his time at his private Blue Mountains home, he a geek at heart – he’d much rather code software than do basically anything else. And don’t try and get him to wear a suit!
We’d want to date him because… he’s smart, gorgeous and unimpressed by decoration – he sees the real woman inside :)
“I’m sorry,” he said again, because it seemed the only thing worth saying.
How to put thirteen years of absence into words? He hadn’t been noble. He’d been scared.
“After I lost mum,” Ella said, “It hurt more than I could ever, ever describe in words. It left a hole, you know? And then you left, too…”
Her bottom lip quivered, and emotion hummed in the small room. Part of him was glad she’d dropped the act, but then this was why he’d left. This depth of emotion. This loss, this grief.
He couldn’t process it. He didn’t understand it.
Not then, and not now.
At seventeen, he couldn’t handle it. At thirty he couldn’t either. He felt useless, helpless.
So he did the only thing he could – with utterly no idea if it would help or hinder - and he reached for her.
The space was so small that with one stride he was before her, and a moment later his arms encircled her.
It should’ve been awkward, and it was, at first.
Ella gasped at his touch and stiffened. But almost instantly, her body softened, and she leant into him. And then it felt the most natural thing in the world.
Against his bare chest, he felt the wetness of her cheeks.
For a really, really, long time, they just stood there, Jake watching his hands rub rhythmically up and down her back in the mirror, as her body shook, ever so slightly.
Then, after an age, she turned her face up to him.
“You shouldn’t have disappeared,” she said.
In this moment, looking down at her, her mascara smudged, and strands of her long hair rubbed loose and framing her eyes haphazardly, he agreed with her.
I should’ve kissed you.
Did she guess what he was thinking? Maybe, because something changed in their embrace. His shirtless state – minutes ago so irrelevant – now only added to the charged atmosphere. He suddenly registered the bite of her nails as they trailed down his spine.
Then she licked her lips, and he was lost.
His arms tightened, and he leant towards her. She moved too, close enough that he felt her breathing against his lips – quick and shallow.
But then she was gone.
She bumped against the mirror behind her in her urgent retreat.
“Thank you for the apology,” she said. “Appreciate it.”
Her voice was that faux professional one, and she was using it, as always, to put distance between them.
Which certainly wasn’t a bad idea. His brain still felt fuzzy. His body definitely still wanted to reach for her. To kiss her.
So distance was good. Necessary.
“So you’ll try on the suit?” she asked.
The question was so incongruous, he had to laugh. “Seriously?”
Her lips curled upwards, although she still had a telltale sheen to her eyes. “I reckon it’s the least you can do.”
He nodded. And he knew he’d be wearing the damn thing to the launch, too.
Ella managed a, brief, victorious smile. But then her expression morphed abruptly back to deadly serious.
“This doesn’t change anything, though. I still stand by what I said in that email. Please don’t let on to anyone that we knew each other. Or even that I lived in Fremantle. Definitely don’t say anything about my…” She took a deep breath. “…my mum, either. Okay?”
After what had just happened – and what had happened all those years ago, he wasn’t about to deny her this. He nodded.
“But why? Surely your friends and clients know you’re from Fremantle? And what school you went to? It wouldn’t be that hard to figure out you used to know me.”
She shook her head, the action verging on violent.
“No. No one knows.”
“Where you’re from?” he asked, confused. Why would she hide that?
“Exactly. And that’s how it’s going to stay.”
She dreamed of being a girl less ordinary…
Eleanor had worked hard to transform herself from the sad, lonely girl she once was. Switching braces for a breathtaking smile, dowdy clothes for fabulous dresses, and heartbreak for flirty, fun-only dates, she’s now Ella! But one man can see through her glamour-plating to the real woman beneath.
Fiercely private billionaire Jake Donner has never forgotten Ella, and he’s shocked to see how she’s changed. Sparks begin to fly as old memories haunt Ella and Jake – for the innocent attraction they’d once resisted is all grown up and won’t be denied again…
Enter the contest to win a copy of Leah's Jake, and if you can't wait to see if you won, just buy A GIRL LESS ORDINARY here!!!
An unashamed fan of all things happily ever after, Leah Ashton has been a lifelong reader of romance. Writing came a little bit later, although in hindsight, she’d been dreaming up stories for as long as she can remember. Sadly, the most popular boy in school never did suddenly fall head over heels in love with her…
Now she lives in Perth, Western Australia with her own real life hero, two gorgeous dogs and the world’s smartest cat. By day, she works in IT, and by night she considers herself incredibly lucky to be writing the type of books she loves to read, and to have the opportunity to share her own characters’ happy ever afters with readers. Find Leah at her website and on Facebook.
Be sure to head over to Ally Blake's blog on Thursday for more of Jake and Ella!